Have you ever heard of community-supported agriculture? It’s a farm-to-table model whereby local community members are able to “pay it forward” and purchase a seasonal subscription to help support a local farm.
The beauty of this model is that the local farm has dependable funding to help see them through their production and harvesting costs, while also assisting the farm in calculating how much food to grow.
On the consumer end, it allows you, as the consumer of nutrient-dense local organic veggies, to make a one-time decision that can have long-lasting benefits to the health of your family and your community. I’ve personally seen this one-time decision lead to long-term improvements in health, not to mention deeper social and community connections from the act of “sharing in the bounty.”
In this blog, I will present the idea of community-supported healing, or a CSH. This is an idea that I came up with recently, and as far as I can tell it's not a term that is widely used. (at least not yet!)
This idea popped into my head a few months ago while in the midst of organizing an art exhibit and sound healing event for the local arts-walk celebration. As we continue to come out of the years of isolation from the pandemic I've been feeling acutely aware of the need to reconnect and come together to support our collective healing and collective health.
So there I was, sitting on a plush cushion in a meditative state and gazing at an amazing painting by Jane Rogers. Think Frida Kahlo at the Women's March in 2016. I might have felt compelled to simply stroll past the art without taking much time, except for the fact that there was a healing sound-bath happening at the same time, encouraging everyone to slow down and take more time. It really was a transformative moment for me as I entered a state of deep meditative focus with this painting.
My day-to-day relationship with health can often feel a bit more obligatory. Did I uphold my personal goal of meditating for 15 minutes? Did I refrain from eating sugar? Why is it so hard to work out by myself at home, maybe I need to muster more willpower or uplevel my tiny habit routine? Can you relate to these feelings of obligation and guilt around healthy habits?
Let’s go back to this idea of community-supported agriculture, and the value of this one-time decision. How much easier would it be for me to resist eating sugar if I always had a fridge brimming with fresh veggies, with more scheduled for pick up in just a few days and the warm feeling in my heart knowing I’m supporting an amazing local farm? Sugar immediately becomes significantly less tempting, without needing to exercise a ton of willpower, especially as the weeks tick by and my habits naturally change.
Now let’s translate this idea into a CSH. First, I really want to know… have you ever heard this term used before? Have I gotten your wheels spinning about what CSH means to you? Let’s make this a conversation! Please share your thoughts in the comments below as this idea takes shape!
When I think of community-supported healing, I imagine something that seems at first like a gym membership but has some distinguishing features and a significantly warmer and fuzzier feeling in my heart.
I imagine the change of seasons as winter approaches and the temperature starts to drop. You make a one-time decision to purchase a CSH and immediately have access to a curated bounty of healing experiences and services to choose from, all while supporting amazing local venues and practitioners.
What would you choose? Infrared sauna, heated yoga, private pilates sessions, and/or healing-focused community events? What if you could take a chi gong class in a warm inviting room with two other people who are also immune-compromised and want to wear masks and maintain super high levels of covid safety?
What if you had access to your very own heated yoga/gym/meditation studio space and simply booked time for yourself when no one else would be there? Or maybe you like the convenience of virtual fitness but need more support and accountability to meet your goals… what if you could have all of that while supporting local practitioners as they provide seasonally appropriate virtual or hybrid offerings?
The idea of a CSH is brimming with possibility, re-envigorating our communities as we continue to detox from the stress of the covid years, and better prepare ourselves for stepping into the future with robust personal health, resiliency, and thriving community connections.
What does Community Supported Healing mean to you? What would you want to be a part of?